At the first sign of the entrance of new bacteria or a virus, the body’s immune system immediately begins to work to eliminate the potential threats to your health. Symptoms of these frequently include fever and night sweats. However, in some cases, the immune system falsely identifies healthy cells as threats and works to eliminate them. This is known as an autoimmune disease, or autoimmune disorder. Such disorders can affect almost all parts of the body, including the nerves, muscles, skin, lungs, blood vessels, and the heart and brain. Inflammation is the key sign for an autoimmune disease which results in swelling, pain, and redness.
The National Institutes of Health, NIH, approximate nearly 24 million Americans suffer from an autoimmune issue. However, actual numbers are potentially upwards of 50 to 60 million people. The NIH only accounts for the 24 diseases with which in-depth epidemiological studies exist. Current research has identified almost 100 autoimmune diseases and research suggests that upwards of 40 more with a potentially autoimmune basis have yet to be classified and named. Most can be chronic and are often life-threatening.
Markers also indicate many of these diseases and disorders have a genetic component, explaining why autoimmune issues are commonly clustered across family members. Sometimes, for example, a virus can trigger an autoimmune reaction to a person’s predisposed genetic marker.
Furthermore, these diseases often span multiple medical specialties and organs. Compared to cancer (with 14 million people living in the United States) and heart disease (with data suggesting upwards of 20 million people living with it in the United States) the combined total is still smaller than the population living with an autoimmune disorder. Costs are estimated in the 100-billion-dollar range annually for treatments in the US alone.
Night sweats are symptoms of myriad autoimmune issues and often are signs of hidden infection. Many of the most common autoimmune diseases—Rheumatoid arthritis, Celiac disease, Lupus, Multiple sclerosis, etc.—all share night sweats, fever, and hot flashes as symptoms. As discussed above, the overlap of symptoms and bodily system crossover make diagnosing and managing autoimmune disorders difficult. Always consult a physician with any healthcare concern. Find more information about autoimmune disorders here.